It should be no surprise, really, but Pinterest is proving to be a pretty darn good way to sell merchandise, according to a couple of recent studies.
In fact, those same studies suggest social media channels in general perform very well as commercial media – you know, when used correctly.
A Minnesota marketing firm, 8th Bridge, is out with its third annual Social Commerce IQ Report which shows the Pinterest Pin It button overtook Facebook’s Like button for engagement among the 872 retailers it surveyed who actively pursue online sales. The same survey suggests engagement on Facebook decreased by 27 percent in 2013.
At the same time, the latest Consumer Sharing Trends Report for the Fourth Quarter of 2013 by ShareThis shows Pinterest passed email (yes, email) to become the third most popular channel for sharing (behind Facebook and Twitter) and that its growth is far outpacing Facebook and Twitter. (The ShareThis report also gave a huge nod to LinkedIn for growth in 4Q13.
“Consumers are now ‘pinning’ things like articles, photos and recipes to share with their friends more often than emailing links,” wrote Kurt Abrahamson for ShareThis. “With 58 percent growth in 2013, Pinterest also leads as the fastest growing sharing channel.
“The fact that Pinterest, which is still relatively young compared to the other social channels, has surpassed email, which has been a sharing tool for decades, is just one example of how quickly consumer preferences and habits are constantly changing.”
The ShareThis study also reveals consumers shared along all social channels 37 percent more often in 2013 than 2012 and the engagement rate among posts shared (click-backs per share) was up 12.6 percent.
The 8th Bridge study suggests 86 percent of its online retail respondents who plan to redesign websites in 2014 plan on including social shopping features on the new site.
“Social Commerce has rapidly changed from ecommerce transactions on social networks to focus on empowering people to discover new product ideas from each other while they shop with the brands they love,” said Wade Gerten, CEO of 8thBridge. “The launching of social discovery and curation solutions this year by some of the world’s largest retailers, Toys”R”Us, eBay, Walmart, Target, and Amazon, is a strong indication that on-site social discovery has gone mainstream.”
More statistics and infographics are available at both pages featuring the reports, linked above.